The Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

The Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

By Michael Hensley, Director of Professional Services

Ready for the eye-opening stat of the day? Since the start of COVID-19, the FBI and its IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) has reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrime activity. This starting rise in the frequency of cyberattacks has prompted companies—especially those with vulnerable networks due to increases in work-from-home activity—to enhance their lines of defense and fend off potential threats.

While there are dozens and dozens of cybersecurity measures that have flooded the market in recent years, allow me to introduce the most cost-effective of the bunch: two-factor authentication, otherwise known as 2FA.

Two-factor authentication is meant to provide an extra layer of security to your normal log-in process. Designed to protect a user’s profile or account from being accessed by hackers or scammers, 2FA requires the claimed user to verify two of the following credentials:

  • A piece of information you know, such as a password, PIN number, or unique pattern
  • An item that you physically own, such as a cell phone or fob
  • A part of your biometric identity, such as a scan of your face or fingerprint

While it is evident that some of these credentials are more technologically advanced than others, the most frequently utilized form of 2FA occurs when a one-time code is sent—usually via text message—to the cell phone of the user. Other common forms of two-factor are found in third-party “authenticator” apps, such as Duo and Twilio Authy. These platforms push a notification to the user’s phone that—upon verification—will grant access to the account.

Because of their weak and unsophisticated nature, passwords have become increasingly easy for hackers to compromise. By leveraging the power of two-factor authentication, you can ultimately prevent users with weak passwords from being hacked. That’s why many of the world’s largest companies have relied on two-factor authentication for their security needs. The likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft each utilize their own unique form of 2FA.

Interested in learning more about how your organization can deploy two-factor authentication to protect both your employees and your data? Connect with Michael on LinkedIn or email him at hensleym@lumestrategies.com.

For more of Lume’s IT and cybersecurity tips and tricks, check out the blog on our website.

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